Kendra Jae, West coast born and raised in Sacramento, California. Is on her cusp, as she indulges in her music and develops her craft. She is excited for music to open doors that will lay several more layers on to the foundation of her empire. From trailblazing the stages of some of the hottest tours as a dancer to adding her new song ‘YKT‘ to a sweet-street catalog of music Kendra Jae has plenty of talent and creativity to offer her fans and is only just getting started.
Vayda: Just recently released your new single “YKT”. Definitely a feel-good track for your listeners. How is that feeling for you?
Kendra Jae: I was super impressed with how people received the record. To be honest, it was one of those songs I would play for friends or my choreographer and they’d be like, “Yooo this is fire, you need to put this out!” It was a different approach for me as far as my tone compared to the first two songs that I dropped last year. To see people relate to it, and tag me, definitely makes me feel good. It’s super real for me.
Vayda: How was it working with DJ Camper and Th3ory, what was that like?
Kendra Jae: It was cool to have them collaborate. Camper’s been a longtime friend, big bro, mentor of mine. We call it, “The evolution of Kendra Jae” because I’ve evolved so much from those relationships I made when I first moved out here at 18 (L.A.). It was a full-circle moment to meet Camper in the studio like 9 years ago, and fast forward I’m like, “Yo Camp I really want to do a song … what’s your schedule …” I’m super thankful that he blessed me with his gift, I don’t take it lightly. To get a co-sign like that from DJ Camper, and just watch him evolve into the Grammy-winning producer that he is; It was just a great feeling. To still be so new and an emerging artist, I definitely didn’t take that lightly.
Vayda: Who is Kendra Jae? What is her why?
Kendra Jae: Her Why! I feel like I’m low-key a motivational speaker … Ultimately, for me this life is chasing your fullest potential and becoming the best version of yourself possible. I feel like this transition to music is allowing me to not only learn who I am as a woman, but also as someone with a vision. I really just want to see it all the way through … Life is really about the mind. Once you can master your mind you unlock levels to life that you never imagined were possible … This is about chasing that fullest potential and really bringing people with me on my journey. Even those I use to work with in my younger days. Those things really bring it home for me.
Vayda: With having a dance resume stamped with opportunities like Beyonce’s “Formation” tour and Drake’s “Aubrey and the Three Migos,” when did you realize your passion for making music?
Kendra Jae: It’s funny because it actually happened long before those tours. When I was about 17 I was in L.A. just for the summer taking a dance class, I ended up in a girl group. It was very amateur at the time, we didn’t know much about the industry. But, it gave me that kick and experience that I needed to be like, you know what I can really do this!
Vayda: How has your successful dance career prepared you for a career as an artist?
Kendra Jae: I had to be strategic about how I got into the game. I knew I had to dance first, music second. Honestly, I let it go and put it in God’s hands. I was confident that if I just put dance first and let that guide me, it was going to work out. It led me to these big stages that you just mentioned where I was subconsciously studying things from these two arguably, best artists in the game. I was able to study how they run their camp. Who runs what, how many dancers they have, and all that works for them and how it doesn’t. People use to always say, “in due time, please don’t quit.” and I’m so glad that I listened to that because it does take time.
Vayda: What does having a career in music mean for your career as a dancer?
Kendra Jae: It’s kind of like a breakup, you close that chapter and open a new one. You take all of the lessons you learned from the last one and carry it into the next. I just follow the flow of what’s supposed to happen.
When I did take my feet out of dance, and I started putting music out it kind of just happened that way. I started being one of the most booked dancers at my agency, to having to send them an email telling them I’m going to be putting music out. I’m just not the type to half-step anything. If I’m going to be putting music out, I’m going to be putting it out as an artist. I’m going to be an artist that dances. Dance will always be a part of what I do. Now it’s time to take everything I learned from that last chapter and apply it to my music career.
Vayda: I love it, that just means your music videos are going to have some fly choreography!
Vayda: Define your sound, what style can we expect from you in 2021? It’s about to be a hot summer.
Kendra Jae: It’s about to be a real hot summer. I can’t speak too much about what’s coming. I’m just extremely proud. I’ve been dedicating myself to developing and really honing in on who I am, and what do I want people to hear from me. Sonically, I describe my sound as sweet but street. I’m a sweet girl, I have a sweet tone. But because I have my background in dance there’s definitely going to be some bass, some 808’s. I’m always going to talk about real shit, but still in a sweet way. The proof will be in the pudding!
Vayda: What are some of your inspirations in music? I know you can’t speak on any future collabs, but who are some artists you’d like to work with?
Kendra Jae: I can’t spoil that surprise, but there is definitely a collab. No doubt. Outside of what’s coming, I really want to tap into dancehall vibes because I do love to dance. I really want to have a Rihanna run. She is so versatile that you can’t box her in. I really aim to be that kind of artist in terms of my versatility.
One thing I learned from working on the Drake tour, is that if you keep giving people the same thing, then they know what to expect and that gets boring. So I’d love to work with Burna Boy. Obviously, I am a dancer so I really want to get a record in with Chris Brown and do a crazy video. That’s gotta happen! Aaliyah is for sure one of my inspirations. I just liked how gracious she was. She was herself, but she was honest and real. Those are things I want my music to portray.
Vayda: To close out Women’s History Month, what does it mean to you to empower others?
Kendra Jae: I want to be the voice for the new generation of music that really encourages the idea that there can be more than one. My narrative with how I support other women is when you have a gift or light, no one else’s shine can dim yours. I think social media has been a factor in making people feeling inferior because someone else is winning. With Saweetie being one of my bestfriends, she’s a Mega-star, that doesn’t mean I can’t get out there and get mine and we both support each other. You can support people. You can give other people light. It doesn’t harm you. If anything, blessing someone else only continues to open your blessings as well. We as women all together should just be more supportive, past Women’s History Month.
Vayda: Other than the new music you have coming, what can we expect next from Kendra Jae?
Kendra Jae: I really do want to tap into my fashion bag. It’s a little hard when you’re independent and working with your own budget. Nonetheless, I really want to be innovative and build a brand that still allows me to grow beyond music. I want music to be a platform that opens doors for major brand endorsements. I would also love to get into acting. Obviously, that’s not a 2021 goal, more of a long-term goal but I really want to star in a movie. I want to let music open doors that allow me to do literally anything that inspires me in my life … I am a mogul in the making. Outside of music I want to be a very poised businesswoman.
Check out Kendra Jae’s new song “YKT” right here: